FA Charges Sandro Tonali With Misconduct Over 50 Breaches of Sports Betting Rules

Sandro Tonali On March 28th, England’s Football Association announced its decision to charge Sandro Tonali, one of Newcastle United’s midfielders, with misconduct. According to the results of the regulator’s investigation, Tonali allegedly wagered on football games a total of 50 times between August 12th, 2023, and October 12th, 2023. Tonali joined Newcastle United in July last year, and the investigation’s results entail he began betting almost immediately after he signed his five-year contract with the club.

His struggles with gambling have been an ongoing issue since 2021, however, as revealed by a probe by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) last year. He was served a ten-month suspension, as well as a fine of over £17,000. The FIGC’s rules dictate that players caught breaching betting regulations should be suspended for at least three years, but mitigating factors, including Tonali’s pleading guilty and cooperating with investigators, resulted in the suspension being reduced to ten months. The player has also been mandated to undergo treatment for gambling addiction.

Tonali’s transgressions in Italy included bets placed on matches that his own teams had participated in. However, no clarification has been given on whether he has done the same while playing for Newcastle United.

Newcastle United will continue to stand with Tonali, as emphasised in a club statement submitted soon after the Football Association’s verdict was announced. The club also claimed that Tonali “continues to fully comply with relevant investigations” but could not disclose additional information.

Gambling and Its Ties to Sports

Sandro Tonali Unfortunately, Tonali is far from the first Premier League player to face scrutiny for accusations centred around illegal gambling. Ivan Toney recently made his comeback after recovering from gambling addiction and serving his own eight-month suspension over sports betting breaches.

Last year, The Big Step campaign made a correlation between Toney’s problem with gambling harm and the fact that he has promoted sports betting companies. It was also suggested that players partaking in gambling is an unsurprising result of them endorsing “addictive products” as part of club sponsorships.

While the topic is a point of contention between supporters of gambling sponsorships in football and those against them, it is indeed true that Toney wore a shirt that promoted a betting company during his first post-suspension match. It is highly likely that the same will happen with Tonali this August, provided the FA does not extend his suspension and he is allowed back on the football field by then.

Across the Atlantic, the US is facing issues somewhat similar to those of the UK and Europe. Just this week, Toronto Raptors player Jontay Porter was put under investigation for alleged gambling and match-fixing. In addition, March also saw Ippei Mizuhara, the former interpreter of baseball star Shohei Ohtani, being fired over allegations surrounding gambling and theft, with accusations pointing to him having stolen from Ohtani. At the time of writing, this investigation is ongoing. In light of this situation, Congressman Paul Tonko stressed the importance of introducing stricter regulations surrounding sports betting and drew attention to The SAFE Bet Act, which aims to address the matter.

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Daniel Williams

Daniel Williams has started his writing career as a freelance author at a local paper media. After working there for a couple of years and writing on various topics, he found his interest for the gambling industry.
Daniel Williams
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